Bon Jovi had a big hit not long ago with "Who Says You Can't Go Home," which became a crossover success on the pop and country charts. But let's be honest - that song was a calculated decision by the band (or their people) to reach out to a new audience, since their recent albums haven't been selling.
Going country has reaped big rewards for Kid Rock, Michelle Branch, Sheryl Crow, and many others. The latest washed-up pop stars to go country are Jewel and Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish.
An argument could be made that Rucker's transformation isn't that significant, because Hootie's laid-back acoustic guitar-based rock isn't that far off Nashville's sound. But I choose the more cynical view, that Rucker simply realized he'd never score another pop hit and made a conscious decision to switch genres.
The Jewel song really doesn't sound very country at all, except for a spare slide guitar. It's more like the simple ballads that appeared on her early records.
Video: Darius Rucker - Don't Think I Don't Think About It
Video: Jewel - Perfectly Clear
So, which other pop acts will decide they can no longer compete on the pop charts and head over to the world of country music? My vote is for Jakob Dylan, Counting Crows, and the Dixie Chicks.